New methodologies for historical linguistics? Calibrating a lexicon-based methodology for diffusion vs. subgrouping
Recent research claims that analysis of lexical cognate classes for a basic wordlist can reproduce linguistic subgroups within the Austronesian family (Gray et al. 2009). The analysis is open to question in two respects. Primarily, the lexicallybased classification, primed with pre-established cognate classes of the family it seeks to emulate, fails to differentiate shared retentions from shared innovations. Secondly, languages and language families typically disperse through contiguous regions...[Show more]
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